By Max Davies
Five dogs, all desirable breeds, have gone missing in the Macedon Ranges and not sighted since, prompting owners to fear they have been stolen.
The dogs disappeared from the Lancefield and Cobaw areas early last month and the owners have made a plea to the public to help find and return them home.
The missing dogs include a black staghound, two dachshunds, a tri-coloured border collie and a purebred husky.
All five dogs disappeared within two weeks of one another, prompting owners to think that their disappearances may not have been yard escapes – rather instances of dog theft.
Owner of the black staghound, Prue Mathieson, of Lancefield, said that while suspicious, similar instances have occurred before.
“Our house in Lancefield backs into the Cobaw forest and our staghound and our border collie went for an adventure on May 6 but only the collie returned about five hours later,” she said.
“We just find it curious that three of the five dogs are quite local to each other and all are intact males.”
Owner of the two dachshunds, Liz Reichard, of Clarkefield, is convinced her dogs have been stolen.
“If it was something natural like a snake or an eagle or down a rabbit hole et cetera, I don’t think both would have disappeared,” she said.
“One, yes, but not both.”
Owner of the husky, Michelle Balthazar, of Benloch, said it was more concerning that their dog was young and inquisitive.
“He was still fully intact as we were just looking into getting him desexed,” she said.
“He’s exceedingly friendly and will go to anyone for a play and thinks it’s a game to get into the car as loves to go for a drive.
“He has gotten out in the past to adventure as everything is new and exciting, but we’ve always been kindly notified by neighbours or he’s returned quickly.”
The owners have reached out to the community and contacted police in a bid to find clues as to where their dogs have gone, however with no sightings, no information has been forthcoming.
Kim Scholtz, of Hesket, owner of the border collie, said the response from the community had been reassuring.
“Overall, everyone has been really kind,” she said.
“Big shout out to the post offices in Lancefield and Romsey who have gone out of their way to distribute posters for us in their own personal time.”
Rewards are available for credible information as well return of the dogs.
“Please keep an eye out for our missing pups and if you know anything come forward,” Ms Scholtz said.
To contact the owners, people can call Prue Mathieson: black staghound, Lancefield, 0407 245 230; Liz Richard: 2 dachshunds, Clarkefield, 0431 822 554; Kim Scholtz: tri colored border collie, Hesket, 0457 919 999; Michelle Balthazar: husky, Benloch, 0425 782 550.